Blog, Mindfulness

Pantry Guide

1st February 2017

Stocking ones pantry is almost an art. On the occasional spring clean, do you get caught off guard when you find dry ingredients which went out of date 2 years or more ago? And then there’s the whole debate should I or shouldn’t I use it. I cant live without a well-stocked pantry, although there always seems to be something missing. Why I don’t make a list I’ll never know.

Sometimes, some of my best recipes are developed from an over stocked cupboard. And recipe testing, being one of my greatest passions, I’m sure to be testing a recipe over and over again until I reach a result I am happy with.

Gluten-free whole grains play an important roll in my pantry, from brown rice, buckwheat flour, millet and my favourite go to, quinoa. These grains compliment my style of cooking. If we ever have leftovers of vegetables or roasts, keeping a large bowl of cooked quinoa always makes a great meal, and makes leftovers go that extra bit further. Last weekend I roasted a whole duck, shredded it up, and tossed in some cooked quinoa, with sautéed courgettes, made a delicious homemade sauce. One dish served 5 people for lunch!

I’m also all about enjoying my food in bowls, whether is breakfast, lunch or dinner, I love the feeling of eating in a relaxed method in a comforting way, so occasionally I ditch the plate and mix everything together instead of pushing the food around the plate.

Bowls are a great way to present your food, often grains, or yogurt/berry bowls are filled in the base, and then you get creative. I always find at meal times, I use certain seeds and nuts to garnish my bowls, which is a great way to ensure a good source of plant based nutrients at meal times.  Whether it is heaps of salads or salmon nestled in quinoa or chicken noodle soup, many of today’s biggest food trends call for bowls.

Now back to my pantry here is a check list of my essentials:-

Equip your Kitchen

Whether you are just starting out on your own or you need to reorganize a kitchen that’s out of control, it’s easy to have what you need if you keep a basic kitchen checklist. Having a few essential appliances and utensils within easy reach, will help make both preparation and clean up less stressful. You might even look forward to staying in on Saturday night. Before you run down to your nearest home ware store with credit card in hand, take a quick look around your kitchen and make an assessment. This will help you focus on items that you need on a daily basis. Those fun, but rarely used gadgets, can be acquired later. As you look around, answer these three questions:

How much space do you have?

Look at work surface tops, drawers and cupboards. For example, if you have work surface space, you’ll need to take that into consideration when looking at appliances and containers; if your shelves are shallow, storing an indoor grill could present a problem. Try to picture where everything will fit as you shop so that you aren’t disappointed when you get home.

What supplies do you already have?

Maybe you have a few odds and ends or a good start due to a wedding list. Write everything down and take the list with you so that you don’t end up spending money on something you already have. Review what you’ve got, especially in the case of wedding gifts. If you’ve received something you can’t imagine using but you are missing an important basic tool, consider an exchange. At this point, it’s better to have the equipment you’ll use regularly.

What type of cooking do you plan to do the most?

Deciding what type of cook you are, or intend to be, will help determine your must haves. Will you cook for two or six? Do you like to bake? Will you prepare a lot by hand or purchase many ingredients that are ready to cook? Once you’ve determined what you have and how you’ll likely spend your kitchen time, use this handy list to figure out what you’ll need to buy. Adding to this list is okay but again, try to stick to items you’ll use regularly. Consider borrowing things that you only use a few times a year, especially if space and budgets are limited.

Store Cupboard Checklist

The kitchen cupboard is the nerve centre of your kitchen – keep it well stocked and you will save time dashing to the shops for that single ingredient and will always have a delicious meal at hand even when the fridge is looking bare.

Stock Up Your Store Cupboards

Perishables

  • Large Eggs
  • Low fat Plain or Greek Yogurt
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Almond milk
  • Cheddar Cheese Grated
  • Fish
  • Meat

Grains

  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Basmati Brown Rice
  • Long Grain Brown Rice
  • Brown Rice Noodles
  • Brown Risotto Rice
  • Spaghetti – Gluten-free

For Baking

  • Easy-Blend Dried Yeast
  • Cornmeal
  • Coconut Flour
  • Baking Powder – Gluten-free
  • Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Jumbo Oats
  • Sultanas or Raisins
  • Vanilla Bean Paste
  • Vanilla Pods
  • Chestnut flour
  • Buckwheat Flour
  • Corn Flour
  • Agave Nectar
  • Maple Syrup
  • Seasonings & Flavourings
  • Maldon Salt
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Herbamare
  • White Pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Thai Fish Sauce
  • Tamari Sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • American Mustard
  • Clear Acacia Honey
  • Vegetable Bouillon
  • Chicken Stock Cubes – Gluten Free
  • Mustard Powder
  • Sweet Chilli Sauce

Spices

  • Thai 7 spice
  • Garlic Granules
  • Chilli Powder
  • Paprika
  • Harissa
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Ginger
  • Ground Cumin
  • Curry Powder Madras
  • Mixed Spice
  • Nutmeg
  • All Spice
  • All Spice

Cans & Cartons

  • Tomato Puree Can
  • Tomato Chopped Can
  • Tomato Puree Tube
  • Sundried Tomato Tube
  • V8 Tomato Juice
  • Coconut Milk or Cream
  • Can Chickpeas, Cannellini, Borlotti

Oils & Vinegars

  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Balsamic Vinegar

Freezer

  • Frozen Fruits
  • Frozen Peas
  • Ice Cubes
  • Frozen Berries
  • Mince Meat

In the Cupboard

  • Poppy Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Pine Nuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pecan Nuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Ground Almonds
  • Peanut Butter
  • Dried Apricots
  • Dried Prunes
  • Pistachio Nuts
  • Sundried Tomato
  • Anchovy Fillets
  • Capers

In your cupboards

  • Non-Stick Frying Pans
  • 1 Non Stick Saucepans
  • 1 Heavy Shallow Pan Ovenproof Handles
  • 1 Lemon Squeezer
  • 1 Salad Spinner
  • 1 Set Mixing Bowls
  • 3 Saucepans with lids: small, medium, large
  • 1 Wire Cooling Rack
  • 1 Sieve (Strainer)
  • 1 Hand Held Blender
  • 1 Grater
  • 1 Colander
  • 1 Measuring Jug

In the Cupboards

  • 4 Glass Mixing Bowls, small, medium, large & ex large
  • 2 Heavy Wooden Chopping Boards
  • 2 White Heavy Plastic Boards for Raw Meat & Fish
  • Kitchen Paper
  • Spoon Holder
  • 1 Hand Held Wisk
  • 3 Wooden Spoons
  • 1 Large Metal Spoon
  • 1 Large Metal Slotted Spoon
  • 1 Ladle
  • 1 Potato Masher
  • 1 Ice Cream Scoop
  • 1 Long Handle Turner (fish slice)
  • 2 Plastic Spatulas
  • 1 Set of Salad Servers
  • 1 Pair of Tongs

The Bottom Draw

  • Greaseproof Paper
  • Cling Film
  • Parchment Paper
  • Food Storage Bags – Ziplock
  • Black Permanent Pen to Label
  • Aluminium Foil
  • 1 Roll Kitchen String
  • Kitchen Tea Towels
  • Apron – CookwithLisa
  • Oven Gloves
  • Paper Muffin Cupcake Cases
  • Popsicle Moulds

On The Shelf

  • 1 Set of Electric Measuring Scales
  • Salt & Pepper Mills

On Your Work Surfaces

  • 1 Food Processor
  • 1 Electric Mixer
  • 1 Blender

In Your Draws

  • 1 Pastry Brush
  • 1 Cookie Cutter
  • 1 Potato Peeler
  • 1 Can Opener
  • 1 Corkscrew Opener
  • 2 Metal Skewers
  • Bamboo Skewers
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • Kitchen Timer

Knifes

  • Knife Block
  • 1 Large Chopping Board
  • 1 Paring Knife
  • 1 Palette Knife
  • 1 Chef’s Knife
  • 1 Pair Kitchen Scissors
  • 1 Sharpening Steel

If you are looking to focus on making home cooked meals at home, don’t be alarmed or intimidated by this list – begin slowly, building up your pantry. Most items you have will have a good long life in your kitchen!

Lisa x

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